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Updated: Oct 13, 2018

Days later I am still floating on a cloud and trying to process all that I have experienced. This journey has restored my faith in mankind, humbled me in so many ways and opened my eyes to a whole different world. I met a blind man that walked the whole way on his own, I met a mom pushing her 20month old baby all the way in a pram and I also met an 85-year-old man walking with his granddaughter, young, old and disabled all with the belief that they will make it to the end.

There is a saying amongst the pilgrims – “The Camino will provide “and OMW does it provide.

Home is calling and Africa without a doubt is where I belong. The darkest and most painful moments on my journey where soothed and healed by just listening to the African Click song. A life saver on many occasions.

Africa reached out to me so many times in the most inspiring ways and one night in a tiny village in Spain I stumbled upon Nelson Mandela’s freedom speech and even though I have seen and read it many times it was as if I read it then for the very first time, with an open heart and understanding mind.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking. So that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We where born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our light shine, We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others.

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Updated: Oct 13, 2018

Santiago Cathedral

The next stretch of my walk took me into Galicia which is an are of frequent rain showers and thunderstorms. Galicia too poor to provide much employment for it’s large family structures and changed the dynamics considerably with men leaving for the city and woman running the farms and businesses. It never ceases to amaze how we as humans adapt when the need arises. I am so drawn to this beautiful are that has lost its material wealth but has so much spiritual wealth with all it’s traditions intact. I find myself walking through enchanted forests in the pouring, along streams and rivers flooding their banks waiting for fairies and elves to make their appearance. Almost like living in a fairy tale

My body is wet and cold for the umpteenth time and yet I glow with an inner warmth as I sit under a dripping chestnut tree contemplating the craziness of it all. Just a few more km till I get to Sarria and then I only have 100km to go.

The business and masses of pilgrims hit me like a ton of bricks on arrival in Sarria. All you need to get a Compostella certificate, is to have walked at least 100km so the prospective pilgrims are arriving in their busloads. I left early in the mornings to avoid this ever-increasing annoyance.

My last night had finally arrived and I was restless and hardly slept. Consumed with expectations and excitement I left in total darkness and the freezing cold to walk my last 20km to Santiago. Walking through totally deserted Eucalyptus forests I found myself laughing out loud and wiping away the tears as memories of the last month flashed through my mind. The first sight of Santiago brought on another flood of tears, joy, absolute sadness, a sense of pride and utter wonder. I walked into Santiago behind a group of Spanish students singing, shouting and laughing, on an absolute high, humbled and in awe of what I had accomplished.

Tears where still flowing freely on most of the pilgrim’s face as the walked into the Cathedral to attend the mass and say thanks. Finally, when the Giant Botafumeiro (Incense Burner) which takes 6 men to swing and was originally used to fumigate the sweaty pilgrims, the reality of how far I had come sunk in and I was consumed with such a sense of accomplishment and utter joy – A heightened state of sensitivity and awareness.

I had completed My Camino all 860km of it and then some – YAY!!!!

Updated: Oct 13, 2018

So, having walked from one end of Spain to the other you realise how different some cultures are to others. The small little villages have a café/Bar which is a one man show. The same person who serves you at the bar will make your food in the kitchen, so patience is definitely something you learn. With so many pilgrims passing through it’s best to avoid the rush hours and make your stops the odd hours in between. The lights in all the toilets are on timers (we could do with those in SA) so on many occasions I found myself in darkness fumbling for a light switch. The bigger towns have one waiter for about 50 people and his shift starts at 6am and only finishes at 11pm. Tips are not expected but should they be so lucky a bell is rung behind the bar. All shops close between 2 and 5pm as it is Siesta time, the only place open is the bar /café. Dinner is only from 8pm and most places serve meals until 11pm. It has been a whole new experience and the Spaniards are an absolute delight. Veggies are few and far between but lots of meat, potatoes and tortilla’s. There is nothing unusual about having a glass of wine for Breakfast and I have encountered numerous patrons doing just that.

As my trip comes to an end I find myself dwelling on the time I have spent walking from town to town and the wonderful people I have met and made friends with. It has been a truly amazing experience that’s left me in awe of how great life really is. The wonder and simplicity of it all even walking in the pouring rain has it’s beauty, I am filled with gratitude and love.

To the two people that my soul sought out to be my parents, thank you for everything you have done, for loving me and always being there for me, for your support and encouragement on this trip and for accepting me for who and what I am.

To my precious children, for letting me go and understanding that this was something I needed to do, I learn and grow every single day from you. I hope I can pass something on – set yourselves a challenge or a goal, take yourself out of your comfort zone because it is in those moments that you grow, build character and really live life. May you wake up every day with gratefulness and love in your heart because you are truly blessed and loved unconditionally.

My darling sister you have been absolutely incredible with all your words of inspiration and love, and you will never know how much you mean to me. I am so honoured and proud to be your sister.

Naz, my new-found stepdaughter that I am about to meet for the first time, it is truly amazing that the universe conspired to bring us together and I firmly believe your Dad had a hand in this from above. May my family bring you endless joy and happiness and we welcome you into this crazy clan with open arms.

All my special friends, thank you for your wonderful messages and support, you have been thought of often and I can’t wait to tell you all the stories.

My darling Sunshine I have no words to explain my gratitude for this incredible gift you have given me, you are the other half that makes me whole – my soul mate.

I am truly blessed and my heart overflowith

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Camino Anchor
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